President Obama declared the United States a serious partner in combating global warming today, telling world leaders at the UN, "We understand the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations." In brief remarks at a high-level climate summit convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, he said, "The journey is hard. And we don't have much time left to make it."
Obama acknowledged that the US has been slow to respond to the threat of climate change, and sought to show new US resolve ahead of crucial talks in Copenhagen in December. He also signaled a break from his predecessor, who downplayed the issue. He spoke at the start of a busy day of diplomacy that also was to include a three-way meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an effort to nudge forward the Mideast peace process.